China's village football tournament signs MoU with EPL to promote local development through sports
Published: Sep 04, 2023 02:52 PM
Photo: Xinhua

Photo: Xinhua

China's village football tournament nicknamed "Cun Chao" in Southwest China's Guizhou Province and the English Premier League (EPL) on Saturday agreed on a strategic cooperation that includes potentially friendly football matches, aiming to leverage the resources and experience of the EPL to support Chinese local sports development and further promote social, cultural and economic prosperity through sports.

The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation at the 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing on Saturday evening, which also includes plans to carry out training courses.

"Cun Chao" was held this year from May 13 to July 29 in Guizhou, during which 20 village teams played 98 matches, attracting more than a million audiences to watch the game in person and over 50 million to watch online.

During the team entrance ceremony and breaks in every game, there were performances by local residents showcasing ethnic customs, according to media reports.

The tournament showed the original charm of football and led more people to know the colorful Guizhou which boasts of pleasant natural environment and rich social culture, according to Cai Chaolin, vice governor of Guizhou Province.

The culturally charming "Cun Chao" has also attracted widespread attention from foreign media and players.

English football legend and former Liverpool player Michael Owen, sent his blessings via video during the games. "I wish 'Cun Chao' all the very best for the future," he said.

Hu Zhaoheng, a representative of the EPL, said that he watched a game of "Cun Chao" at the site in July and was deeply moved and inspired by the atmosphere. "Whether it is the EPL or 'Cun Chao' in Guizhou, the goal is to bring joy to the spectators through sports, which is something I have personally experienced in Guizhou," he said.

As one of the top five football leagues in Europe, the EPL has a high level of event organization and international influence, ranking among the best in the world.

The EPL can share its rich experience in event operation and brand promotion and we look forward to both sides continuously strengthening cooperation, Hu said.

According to Hu, signing the MoU is just the beginning. The EPL will further help Guizhou train football talents and promote the development of rural football, while strengthening cooperation in trade and investment projects to boost the development of local cultural and tourism economy.

Global Times